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Symbicort

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Symbicort Inhaler (budesonide, formoterol) is a maintenance inhaler used to manage moderate to severe asthma and COPD. It is sometimes used as a rescue inhaler, but only in mild cases; it will not rapidly alleviate a severe attack. Patients who have severe breathing problems should keep a rescue inhaler, such as albuterol, on-hand for use if needed.

Symbicort comes in several designs; the regular Symbicort inhaler, the Symbicort Turbohaler, and the Symbicort Forte Turbohaler. The primary difference between these is that Symbicort inhalers contain liquid under pressure, while the Turbohalers contain powder. The Forte Turbohaler is available in a higher dose than other Turbohalers.

Regardless of the design, all Symbicort products contain the same two ingredients:

  • Budesonide is a corticosteroid that inhibits the immune system's response to allergens or irritants, reducing airway inflammation and making it easier to breathe.
  • Formoterol is a bronchodilator that relaxes muscles around the airways, improving airflow through the lungs.

Together these two ingredients help keep asthma or COPD symptoms at bay, making attacks less frequent and less severe when they do happen. Some lucky individuals find the medication works so well that attacks no longer happen at all.

Symbicort Inhalers/Turbohalers can be used in patients age 6 and up.

Breathe Better with Symbicort

Symbicort Inhalers/Turbohalers are usually prescribed when an individual cannot manage asthma or COPD symptoms well with just a rescue inhaler. In some locations this is defined as needing a rescue inhaler more than twice a week, though other locations allow for much greater use of rescue inhalers before prescribing Symbicort Inhalers.

Inhalers/Turbohalers come in several dosage strengths; which is used is best determined by a doctor. If in doubt, choose a lower dosage strength to start with and increase only if needed. A doctor should always determine dosage for patients under 12 years of age.

Treatment can vary to some extent. In most cases:

  • Administer 2 inhalations twice per day, morning and evening.
  • Wait about 1 minute between inhalations.
  • Do not exceed 2 inhalations at a time or 4 inhalations per day.

Less commonly dosage may be lower, such as:

  • Administer 1 inhalation twice per day; or
  • Administer 1 inhalation once per day; or
  • Administer 2 inhalations once per day.

While some patients notice breathing improvements just 15 minutes after administering the first dose, more commonly patients will need to wait a couple of weeks before noticing improvements. Attacks should occur noticeably less often than before---perhaps not at all---and if they do occur, they should be less severe.

Individuals with mild breathing problems can use Symbicort Inhaler as a rescue treatment. If this is the case, be sure to not exceed 4 inhalations per day; this is usually not a great concern as those with mild breathing impairment rarely need to use the maximum dose of 2 inhalations twice per day, or 4 inhalations total.

Some patients do not respond well to inhaled steroids, either experiencing no benefit or a worsening of asthma/COPD. If this is the case, speak to a doctor; another steroid may prove beneficial, or other non-steroid products can be tried.

Other Options

There are many other asthma/COPD medications available if Symbicort Inhaler/Turbohaler doesn't sound like a good fit. A selection of those carried by Kiwi Drug includes:

  • Albuterol is the standard rescue inhaler for asthma.
  • Albuterol Nebules offer albuterol in fluid for use in a nebulizer, which many patients find superior to inhaler use.
  • Aerocort contains the steroid beclomethasone and the bronchodilator levosalbutamol.
  • Advair contains the steroid fluticasone and the bronchodilator salmeterol.
  • Flovent Inhaler contains only the steroid fluticasone.
  • Alvesco MDI contains only the steroid ciclesonide.
  • Asmanex Twisthaler contains only the steroid mometasone furoate.
  • Pulmicort contains only the steroid budesonide.
  • Tilade Inhaler utilizes nedocromil, a mast cell stabilizer. It is one of few non-steroidal preventative asthma/COPD treatments available.

In a pinch, EpiPens will also work to rapidly relieve a severe asthma attack. Also available in EpiPen Junior.

Please don't hesitate to contact us if you need help finding the right asthma or COPD product!

Symbicort/Foracort Inhaler

100mcg/6mcg budesonide/formoterol  Buy Symbicort 120 Doses X 3 Inhalers - $49.99
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Medicines have benefits and some have risks. Always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist or you have side effects see your health professional.

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